Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that the empowerment of the girl-child will mitigate her vulnerability in the society.
Obaseki made the assertion on the occasion to commemorate the United Nations International Day for the Girl-child, marked on October 11, each year.
He said that “comprehensive education covering formal, informal and non-formal modes, for the girl-child will prepare her adequately for the challenges of a largely patriarchal society.”
The governor explained that the All Progressives Congress-led government was fully committed to eliminating the hurdles and societal drawbacks hindering the full participation of the girl-child and women in general, in the affairs of state.
He assured that his government was fully committed to the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equality in primary and secondary school enrolment as well as the building of more schools.
“One of our priorities in the education sector is to build world-class technical schools that can train our boys and girls who will be employers of labour.
The Benin Science and Technical College is undergoing reconstruction to better serve this purpose,” Obaseki said.
He further said: “In Edo State, our support for the Female Mechanic Initiative has produced young, professional female mechanics that manage the state government’s fleet of vehicles. This effort is mainstreaming girls and ladies in the workforce and arming them with the capacity to earn good wages and walk shoulder high with their male counterparts.”
He decried the socio-cultural practices that relegate the girl-child to the background in the society and urged governments to create equal opportunities for both boys and girls, who are equally talented, to fast-track socio-economic development.
Obaseki called on Nigerians to continue to support the federal government’s efforts at rescuing the remaining Chibok girls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
According to the United Nations, the International Day for the Girl-child highlights and addresses the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
This year’s edition kick-starts the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises.